L. Neil Smith’s THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 918, April 16, 2017
A Matter of Truth
by L. Neil Smith
Attribute to L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise
My regular readers will be aware that I generally approve of Donald J. Trump and of the Trump Administration. I am by no means an uncritical fan, but whenever I contemplate the alternative we were nearly saddled with, I am more than satisfied with the way I chose to vote last November.
This does not amount, however, to any blanket approval of everything the Donald does or everybody who works for him. It annoyed the hell out of me, the other day, to have to listen to CIA Director Mike Pompeo, whose bloviations about Julian Assange and WiliLeaks revealed him to be a perfect fool. or a bare-faced liar.
Wikileaks is, in effect, the man said, an enemy intelligence agency. Julian Assange is a criminal narcissist determined to hurt America. A little civics lesson seems in order for this jumped-up former Kansas Congressthing who was once (it says here) a member of the Tea Party, but whose authoritarian elitist statements dishonor that admirable institution.
The lesson: depending on who you listen to, the United States of America are (yes, they are plural) either a democracy, or a democratically-run representative republic. In either case, their nature and activities should reflect the will of the people who make them up, either in terms of what they decide, or the employees chosen to decide it.
Throughout our history, those people, in the government, have chosen to keep secrets from us, their employers, even though it creates a dangerous contradiction, and ought to be illegal. It is impossible for us to make informed decisions—what to do, or who we can trust to decide for us—without knowing all the facts. As things stand, all we have left is our emotions, and you can see where that’s gotten us: today, we are all Californians.
If we had known, for example (or our grandparents had), that the HMS Lusitania was a warship, under international law, would we have plunged ourselves into World War One? If we had known, for another example (or our parents had), that the unutterable malefactor Franklin Delano Roosevelt did everything in his power to goad and trick the Japanese into attacking us, could we have stayed out of World War Two? If we had known that the Gulf of Tonkin Incident never actually occurred, might we have avoided the Vietnam War?
Now suppose there had been a neutral, non-national organization to gather and reveal those truths, History might have turned out very differently, and possibly a lot more bearably. I would have grown up with a grandfather, for example, and my father could have avoided a nasty year in the custody of the Nazis.
Since when is truth the enemy of liberty? Governments—especially those that loudly claim to be “of the people, by the people, and for the people” have no right whatever to secrets. Nor should they be permitted to lie to anyone for any reason. Elsewhere, I have proposed that either one should be punishable by death. I favor public hanging. The assertion that WikiLeaks, an organization dedicated to disclosing the plain, unvarnished truth, no matter whose oxen are gored, is an enemy intelligence agency is contemptible. WikiLeaks is a liberator of secrets, Julian Assange is a man who will be remembered by history (along with Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning) as a great hero.
During his infantile tirade, Pompeo squalled that Wikileaks hadn’t released any secrets from Russia. I’m not certain that’s true, but just suppose it is: Russia makes no credible claim to being a democracy or a representative republic. It is a dictatorship. run by an ex-KGB bureaucrat and his gang, and is thus beyond the purview of WikiLeaks.
Probably a more pertinent point is this: Pompeo would not have his cushy job if it weren’t for Julian Assange. It was the embarrassing revelation of Hillary Clinton’s stupid, illicit e- mails that put Donald Trump over the top and into office, where he could give Pompeo work that is obviously beyond his capabilities. Pompeo should be fired or required to resign and replaced with somebody we can trust to see what’s really at stake, someone like Ron Paul or Andrew Napolitano.
Publisher and Senior Columnist L. Neil Smith is the author of over thirty books, mostly science fiction novels, L. Neil Smith has been a libertarian activist since 1962. His many books and those of other pro-gun libertarians may be found (and ordered) at L. Neil Smith’s THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE “Free Radical Book Store” The preceding essays were originally prepared for and appeared in L. Neil Smith’s THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE. Use them to fight the continuing war against tyranny.
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